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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0220

Author: Rush, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-28

From Benjamin Rush

[salute] My dear friend

Accept of my congratulations upon the Success of your negociations at the Hague. Your countrymen are not insensible of your Zeal and industry in effecting the important event of a connection with the States of Holland. Our hearts vibrate with the hearts of those honest republicans whose petitions and memorials opened the eyes of their rulers to acknowledge our independance. The tories themselves express a Satisfaction in a Union with a nation of a religion, and of manners similar to those of the Americans. Blessed Union! founded in wisdom—policy—and interest! May it continue (to use an Indian phrase) while the Sun shines and the rivers flow.
Liberty and independance thrive in our country, and we every day become more and more unbritished in our laws—manners and ideas of every thing. Our habits are already those of old republicans, and { 498 } we talk of our constitutions as if they had been the legacies of our ancestors. The Order and tranquility which prevail every where among us would make a stranger beleive that he was in one of the best established governments in Europe. O! liberty—liberty who would follow thee blindfold!
The depradations upon our trade during the last year have prevented our paying the Sum demanded by congress last year in taxes. Philada has however paid its quota with a degree of punctuality and chearfulness that does honor the republican Spirit.
You will see in some of our papers published last Summer some essays upon a navy under the Signature of Leonidas that have been ascribed to me.1
The wealth—the Sense and the Virtue of Pensylvania have all come forth at last in favor of the revolution. The faction that usurped the power of the state in 1776 have become as contemptible as they were weak and wicked.2

[salute] With great respect I am my dear friend yours most sincerely

[signed] Benjn Rush
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Rush. Sept. 28. 1782 ansd. 7 Nov.”
1. Rush refers to his seven essays signed “Leonidas” that were published in the Pennsylvania Journal on 29 May; 19 June; 4, 10, 17, 31 July; and 14 August. The essay appearing on 4 July dealt specifically with the navy (Rush, Letters, 1:273–377).
2. Rush refers to the radical faction led by James Cannon, Timothy Matlack, and Dr. Thomas Young that produced the 1776 Pennsylvania constitution with its unicameral legislature. Both Rush and JA were highly critical of that document and those who produced it. On 19 May 1777 Rush wrote to Anthony Wayne that “Cannon, Matlack, and Dr. Young still hold back the strength of the state by urging the execution of their rascally government in preference to supporting measures for repelling the common enemy”; he took much the same line in a letter to JA on 24 Feb. 1790 (Rush, Letters, 1:107, 148–149, 532–536).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0221

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-09-29

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear sir

I received yesterday your favor of 26th. Augst: OS. with Duplicates and Triplicates of a former letter and one original.1 These shall be sent by different vessells, as you desire. I agree to your Condition to make a minute of the postage, but you may inclose your letters to any one of the six following Gentlemen at Amsterdam and direct them to charge the postage to the U. S. viz Wilhem or Jan Willink, Nicholas or Jacob Van Staphorst, or de la Lande & Fynje.
I am so anxious abt. John's Education, that it gives me great { 499 } pleasure to learn that he is coming here: tho' at the same time, it grieves me to take him from you, whose situation must be lonely and disagreable. I dare not take upon me to advise you to quit that Stage, tho' I lament the policy, which has tied your hands. It is a bit of that web, in wh: you and I, and every honest American, in Europe, has been long entangled. I broke thro' it, as the Whale goes thro' a net. You would have done the same in my situation, and I could not do it in yours. If I had transmitted to Congress the advice, exhortations and remonstrances I received, and asked their Instructions, I should have been forbidden to stir, and should have been here sprawling with hands and feet in the air, pegged, like Ariel, in a rifted Oak; this Republic would at this moment have been seperately at peace, and American Independence would never have been acknowledged by any Power in Europe, except France, untill England should have done it.
I am at present, as you wish me, i: e: as happy as I ever can be in Europe. I am well accommodated and have an oppo. of living in an habit of Civilities with the French and Spanish Ambassadors, as well as with some principal People of this Country. The Ministers of Prussia, Sardinia and Leige are sociable. The Envoy from Portugal and the Chargè des affaires of Sweden are sometimes so. Russia and Denmark are stiff and distant; but they do neither honor, nor service to themselves, or their Courts by it.
My loan in in Cash, at least a million and an half of Gueldres. The Treaty is all agreed: is now copying and will be signed next week. It is very little different from that with France. Mr: Charles Storer is now with me, as well as Mr: Thaxter. It is not certain that he will go home with the Treaty. He seems to have an inclination to stay a little longer.
Can you give me a brief sketch of the Dispute in the Crimea, and a probable guess, whether it will terminate in a War, between the Empress and the Porte? Was it stipulated in the last Treaty of Peace, that the Crimea should be independent, and that the late Kan should be the Sovereign? Is his Expulsion suspected to have been effected by any intrigues of the Turks, or any other Power? Or is it only the effect of the Levity of the Tartars?2
Pray what foreign Ministers are at the Court of St. Petersbourg? And what are their sentiments of our States? The French or Dutch Ambassador can sound them and tell you. Here the whole Corps Diplomatique is unanimously of opinion that our Independence is decided.
{ 500 }
I presume that my Son is already on his journey, or voyage, for which reason I don't write him.
[signed] Adieu.
RC in Charles Storer's hand (MHi: Dana Family Papers); endorsed: “Mr: Adams's Letter Dated 29th. Septr: 1782 Recd 7/18 Octr: Houses in Amsterdam Loan.”
1. Of [6 Sept. N.S.], above. For the enclosures, see note 1 to that letter.
2. The deposed khan of the Crimea was Shahin Girai, whose rule over the Crimea had been guaranteed by the 1774 Treaty of Kutschuk-Kainardji. A Russian puppet, he was deposed in favor of his brother and forced to flee in June 1782 when a revolt against his despotic rule broke out. Catherine II was unwilling to accept an outcome that diminished her prestige and influence in the Crimea and offered the Ottoman Empire an opportunity to increase its own at her expense. She soon dispatched an army to restore the khan and incidentally to make final the annexation of the Crimea to the Russian empire (Murphy, Vergennes, p. 333–334).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.